NEWTON, NJ – Countywide voters are voting. According to Sussex County Board of Election Commissioner Allen Langjahr as of Thursday, October 29, they have received approximately 55,700 ballots, representing 51.67% of eligible voters. As of the July 7, 2020 Sussex County has 107,798 registered voters.
- In the June 2020 Primary 31,873 people voted representing 29.57% turnout.
- In the 2018 General Election 61,349 people voted representing 57.69% turnout.
- In the 2016 General Election 75,546 people voted representing 72.75% turnout.
The ballots are not being tabulated but they are being processed according to Langjahr. This includes the envelopes being opened, signatures validated and the ballots checked for other compliance issues.
If the ballot is rejected because of a signature or other issue a “cure letter” is immediately sent, usually the same day. Langjahr said a computer and an individual is dedicated to the cure letters.
“We’re trying to be as timely as possible,” Langjahr said.
The cure process allows a voter to correct defects or deficiencies that have been found on their mail-in ballot. They will have until November 20 to cure their ballot according to Sussex County Clerk Jeff Parrott said. He said it can be done through the mail, email or in person.
Voters in New Jersey will not be able to vote by machine in this election. A small number of people with disabilities will have the options, “but you basically have to be blind,” Sussex County Clerk Jeff Parrott said in an earlier interview.
- Voters can bring their ballot to one of 13 secure ballot drop boxes located throughout the county. They are monitored 24 hours a day with video surveillance.
- Voters can bring their ballot to the Sussex County Board of Election at 83 Spring Street in Newton. People who bring ballots to the board of elections must show identification according to statute, Parrott said.
- Voters can bring their completed ballot to their polling location on November 3. There are only 37 polling locations in Sussex County. In Newton: Newton Firehouse 1,2, 4, 6, Newton Municipal Building 3,5
- Voters who go to the polling location without their ballot, who do not qualify to vote by machine, will be given a provisional ballot which will be counted after November 11.
Need another ballot
Every registered voter was supposed to have received a mail-in ballot. The state required ballots to have been mailed in September. Registered voters who have not received their ballot, who lost their ballot or who made a mistake completing the ballot can request a duplicate ballot, according to Langjahr.
Anyone requesting a duplicate ballot must do so in person at the Sussex County Clerk’s office at 83 Spring Street in Newton. According to officials a voter must be officially authorized to pick up a ballot on another voter’s behalf. Requirements can be obtained by calling the county clerk’s office.
Ballots picked up at the clerk’s office must be received by the board of elections no later than 8 p.m. on election day.
A request for a duplicate ballot does flag that voter for the board of elections, preventing a person from being able to vote twice, Langjahr said.
“We’re trying to accommodate and help voters,” Langjahr said. “There will be times when people make a mistake or lose voting materials. But we do have checks so we can identify a duplicate ballot.”
The Sussex County Clerk’s Office has extended hours for voters to pick up replacement ballots:
- Friday, October 30 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Saturday, October 31 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
- Monday, November 2 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 3 from 6 a.m. until 7:45 p.m.
“We are taking reasonable steps of checks and balances to help the voters while maintaining the integrity of the process,” Langjahr said.
Voters can check on the status of their ballot with the Sussex County Board of Elections or by registering to Track My Ballot on the 2020 New Jersey Voter Information Portal.